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Without Limits

303 Firecrest Tubular Rim Brake

Zipp’s 303 Firecrest Tubular offers game-changing innovations for performance-minded cyclists. This wheelset was developed to meet the needs of our sponsored professional racers as well as any cyclist who prefer the time-proven ride qualities of riding tubulars.

Zipp’s original 303 made history by becoming the first carbon wheelset to win cycling’s two most famous Cobbled Classics, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The 303’s wider rim provided extra durability, and improved aerodynamics. That wider rim also led to the development of our revolutionary Firecrest® technology. Throughout its history, the 303 has consistently served as a go-to wheelset for pros that need a versatile wheel offering an outstanding blend of aerodynamic performance and stability, climbing agility, and outstanding durability on rough roads and cross courses.

The 303 Firecrest Tubular features key technologies first developed for Zipp’s halo-level NSW wheelsets. Our Showstopper™ textured brake track delivers the best modulation and shortest stopping distances in wet and dry conditions. The ABLC™ Sawtooth™ dimple pattern helps reduce high yaw drag and improve crosswind stability. The Firecrest rim shape optimizes the aerodynamic profile of both the front half and the back half of the wheel. In addition, Firecrest moves the center of pressure of the wheel close to the steering axis, giving the 45mm-deep rim the crosswind stability a box-section rim. And because the 303 Firecrest has been optimized for wider tires, ride quality and tire stability are better than ever. All of this provides excellence AeroBalance™, which is how we define the optimization of aerodynamic efficiency and crosswind stability.

The cycle of innovation continues with the inclusion of the 77/177 hubset – best-in-class durability and improved bearing protection with no pre-load adjustment needed.

  • Optimized flange geometry and spoke hole attachment pattern with Sapim® CX Sprint spokes to optimize torsional and lateral stiffness and robustness.
  • Includes quick-release skewers with a wider more ergonomic handle to provide more leverage for opening and closing. When closed, the lever contours neatly with the frame.
  • For those looking for a wider gear range, or tackling especially extreme terrain, an XDR driver body for 177 is sold separately and easily installed to allow for more cassette options, including a 10-42. The hubset is designed to swap driver bodies without re-dishing the wheel.

The new wheels retain all the small details that make Zipp wheels what they are. Exposed spoke nipples sit in the aerodynamic shadow of the rims, keeping serviceability simple without compromising speed.

Each 303 Firecrest Tubular wheel includes:

  • Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads
  • Zipp Integrated Valve Extender with valve-core wrench
  • Quick release

Product note:

The rear 303 Firecrest may present some fitment issues for a small number of older road and triathlon frames, including the 2012 Specialized Tarmac SL4 and Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge. Clearance between the chainstay and the rim may not be adequate to avoid contact between each other when ridden under load.


Front wheel:  $1,000, €1,000 
Rear wheel:  $1,200, €1,200

Set Weight 1339g
Max recommended rider weight (lbs) 250lbs
Max recommended rider weight (kg) 115kg
Front Wheel
Weight 593g
Hub Used 77
Rim Depth 45mm
Brake Track Width (center) 26.5mm
Max Width 28mm
Internal Width n/a
Spokes Sapim® CX-Sprint
Spoke Count 18
Spoke Pattern Radial
Spoke Length 260mm
Max Tire Pressure 125psi
Max Tire Pressure 8.62bars
Track Adaptable No
Dimple Surface ABLC™ Sawtooth
Nipples Sapim® secure-lock
Tubeless No
Rotor Interface n/a
Rear Wheel
Weight 746g
Hub Used 177
Rim Depth 45mm
Brake Track Width (center) 26.5mm
Max Width 25.0mm
Internal Width n/a
Spokes Sapim® CX-Sprint
Spoke Count 24
Spoke Length Non-Drive 272mm
Spoke Pattern Non-Drive 2 cross
Spoke Length Drive 270mm
Spoke Pattern Drive 2 cross
Max Tire Pressure 125psi
Max Tire Pressure 8.62bars
10/11-speed Compatible Hub Yes
XDR Compatible Yes
Track Adaptable No
Dimpled Surface ABLC™ SawTooth
Nipples Sapim® secure-lock
Tubeless No
Rotor Interface n/a
Engineered for the Classics  April 2013 [pdf]

"How do you build a cobble-proof bike?" That's the questioned posed by UK-based Pro Cycling Magazine in an article on cycling components specifically designed to withstand the punishment of the Spring Classics. Zipp's work on the 303 wheelset is featured. 

Click on PDF to read the article

303 Firecrest Tubular named high-end wheels of year  May 2012 [pdf]

Cyclocross Magazine Issue #16 celebrates the best of the season, with its Editors’ and Readers’ Awards. 

Zipp snagged the Editor's Choice Award for Best High-End Wheels. More for information about Cyclocross Magazine, please visit Click on PDF to see awards.

In a word, incredible  May 2012 [pdf]

The Racing Post of Texas reviewed the 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher, concluding: "There was an immediate and noticeable difference. I didn’t have to look for it; my knees noticed on the first hill and my heart and legs were not far behind."

Full review posted here.

303 Firecrest called most versatile wheel set around  January 2012 [pdf]

Triathlon & Multi Sports magazine of Australia reviews the Firecrest® 303 Zipp®'s answer to the any wheel questions: "The 303s are still the standard of what a great all-round aero wheel set should be."

Cycle Sport magazine touts 303 Firecrest  January 2012 [pdf]

Cycle Sport magazine's Window Shop feature includes a summary of the 303 Firecrest wheelset. 

"PEZ-Tech: ZIPP 303 Tubular Wheels & Hubs"  June 2011 did a long-term and extensive review of the Zipp 303 wheelset.  Check it out here.

Spanish Website Reviews the Zipp 303  May 2010

Check out the review here reviews the Zipp 303  May 2010

… The new Zipp 303 is the best-performing carbon tubular we've tried to date and if you can only have one set of race wheels, this is it.

Click here for the full review. - Wrenched and Ridden  April 2010

303s get 10/10 in Cycling Weekly's  November 2009 [pdf]

Cycling Weekly has been riding the all new Zipp 303s.  Check out what they had to say....

If the 202 and 404 had a love child.  July 2009 [pdf]

Check out the all new 303 in the August 2009 issue of Road...

The Racing Post Reviews The All New Zipp 303 Wheelset  June 2009 [pdf]

Texas's The Racing Post had an opportunity to ride both the new 303 wheelset and the new 23mm Tangente tubular tire.  Check out the review!

Ciclismo Italy Reviews the New 303!  June 2009 [pdf]

New Zipp 303 "Classics" Road Wheelset  May 2009 2009 SEA OTTER CLASSIC COVERAGE: Zipp’s new 303 wheelset is “Ready for Anything” and was designed with the cobbles of classics like Paris-Roubaix in mind.

Despite being wider and taller, their weight is the same as the ‘08 303 wheelset, and Zipp claims they’re more aerodynamic!  Built on their ultralight 88 and 188 front and rear hubs (named for their weights), the entire wheelset weighs in at a svelte 1182g (529g F / 653g R).  The new hubs have 17mm axles with taller flanges, which improves the wheel’s stiffness.



Philip Booth of Road Bike Action gave the completely redesigned 303s a proper shakedown at SeaOtter. 

Even though the Zipp 303s are designed for the cobbles of the Northern Classics, our first impression is that they should not be overlooked as all around aero wheels. The 303s would be ideally suited to a fast century or high mileage rider looking for an aero wheel that is easy to control and smoothes out the road.

Click here to read more.

ABLC™  (Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control)

Advanced Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) refers to the patented and instantly recognizable dimpled pattern found on all of our carbon rims. ABLC smoothes airflow across the rim's surface and is tailored to every model from the 202 to the Super-9 Disc. The third-generation of ABLC has up to four times more dimples than before.

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VCLC™  (Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control)

Visco-Elastic Constrained Layer Control (VCLC) uses a vibration-absorbing material sandwiched between layers of rigid carbon laminate in the rim. When the wheel receives an impact from the road, much of the shock is absorbed by the VCLC system, delivering a 10% reduction in vibration.

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Carbon Bridge™

Carbon Bridge uses a Kevlar® thread in a co-axial helix stitch to bind sheets of carbon to each other in our tubular rims. Because Kevlar is 350% more impact resistant than carbon, it can disperse shock more evenly throughout the carbon laminate, making for a rim that is practically bulletproof. In particular, Carbon Bridge reduces the vulnerability of the rim's tire bed, the area most susceptible to damage from impact.

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